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Upcoming Employment Law Changes | 2016, 2017 and Beyond

Here we take a quick look at some of the upcoming Employment Law Changes coming into force at the end of this year and look ahead to 2017 and beyond. We should mention, that whilst we work with the most up to date information provided by the government, things can be subject to last minute changes, delay, or even abolition, so we’ll keep you up to speed with the changes as quickly as possible. And of course, there’s no telling what might happen post-Brexit.....  

November 2016: English-language requirement for customer-facing workers in the public sector

Under the Immigration Act 2016, there will be a new requirement that workers in customer-facing roles within the public sector but be able to speak fluent English (and/or Welsh for public authorities in Wales). A draft code of practice to help implement changes has been published for public authorities.

November 2016: “Living Wage” recommended increase

The voluntary pay rate set out by the Living Wage Foundation (and not to be confused with the new legal National Living Wage) has increased from £8.25 to £8.45 per hour across the UK and from £9.40 to £9.75 in London. This is considerably higher than the Government’s statutory minimum wage for workers aged 25 and over which is currently set at £7.20 per hour (reviewed October 2016).

December 2016: Employers that employ illegal workers face business closure

The Immigration Act 2016 provides for employers to face temporary or continued closure if the employ foreign workers illegally. The idea is that it will force employers to stop turning a blind eye to using illegal workers and to ensure they carry out the appropriate checks.

Early 2017: Tax-free childcare scheme comes into force

In families where both parents work and each parent earns less than £100,000 per annum and a minimum weekly income equivalent to 16 hours at the rate of the National Living Wage, the Government will pay 20% of their yearly childcare costs (up to £2,000 for each child, or £4,000 if the child is disabled). The scheme applies to parents with children under 12, or under 17 if the child is disabled. It will be operated through online accounts and no involvement of employers is required.

April 2017: Minimum Wage Review

From April 2017, both the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage will be reviewed annually in April. It is expected that in April 2017 the NLW will increase to £7.50 per hour, from its current £7.20.

April 2017: Apprenticeship levy implemented

Employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million will be required to spend 0.5% of their total pay bill on the apprenticeship levy.However, they could claim a ‘levy allowance’ of £15,000 per year. This means that the total amount will be 0.5% of the pay bill, minus £15,000. Companies with over 250 employees will also be set an “apprenticeship target” whereby they should aim for apprentices to make up at least 2.3% of their total workforce.

April 2017: Employers’ duties under gender pay gap reporting commence

Employers with 250 or more employees in the private and voluntary sectors must publish an annual report with details of their gender pay and bonus gap, with the first report to be published by 30 April 2018 (based on the pay period April 2017 to April 2018). Employers are required to publish:

the overall mean and median difference between male and female pay across their workforce;
how many men and women appear in each quartile of pay in their workforce;
the mean and median difference between male and female bonuses; and
the proportion of men and women who received bonuses.

The gender pay gap information must include the mean difference in bonus payments between men and women.

 

The first gender bonus pay report must be calculated using pay information for the 12 months from 1 May 2016. The information must also include the proportion of men and women who received a bonus.

2018 and Beyond: Pensions, Parental Leave and Equality

Pension Auto Enrolment Contributions

The planned increase to 5% minimum contribution (2% employer) will now take effect in April 2018 and not October 2017 as first set out. The planned increase to 8% (3% employer) will take effect in April 2019.

Shared parental leave is extended to grandparents

Shared parental leave is to be extended to allow grandparents to take time off work.

Caste added as an aspect of race under Equality Act 2010

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 prescribes that the Government must add caste to the definition of "race" under the Equality Act 2010.

If you would like to discuss any of these matters in more detail, or would like to find out how Park City can help bring your Human Resources Management into line, contact one of our experts today.

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